Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Pauline’s garden in California, in spring

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Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

We’ve visited Pauline and Irvin Faria’s garden in Carmichael, California several times (refresh your memory here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), and today we have some scenes of spring from this enchanting garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

Irvin says, “Unusually warm early spring weather has suddenly awakened our garden landscape. At the garden entryway a cloud of white and red blossoms of a crabapple tree complements the flaming scarlet new foliage of a ‘Shindeshojo’ Japanese maple. Together they capture the woodland garden spirit and theme.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

We selected the ‘Shineshojo’ as a garden entry tree because of its special foliage, which is scarlet in the spring then green in summer, retaining traces of pink, then back to red in autumn. The first and our favorite Japanese maple (‘Katsura’) to display its striking spring beauty of pale yellow-orange leaves is contrasted by the background of redbud blossoms. It, too, is a beautiful Japanese maple for all seasons. Chosen for its dense foliage, heat tolerance, and spectacular spring beauty is the brilliant fringe bush (Loropetalum cv.) with its lush red flowers and deep green leaves, and a Pieris ‘Forest Flame’ displays dangling, lacy, white, cone-shaped flowers and distinguished, spiked, flaming red leaves. Both plants look at home in our natural woodland garden.”

Beautiful as usual, Irvin. Thanks to you and Pauline for another glimpse of your garden.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Irvin Faria

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  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/02/2012

    I also love the blue accent pieces seen in 2 of the pictures. They stand out and yet are calming and very much fit the soothing vibe of this woodland garden. I really appreciated the additional info Irvin shared on the Japanese maples.

  2. tractor1 04/02/2012

    Those are some splendid specimen trees but they are difficult to appreciate in those photos due to poor composition... if at all possible therfe should be ~1/3 sky in every photo and with chachkas in front that's what the camera focuses on... have the whimsy behind the plant you're highlighting.

  3. terieLR 04/02/2012

    Understory trees are so attractive in the woodland setting. We have several Pieris and the spring foliage is beautiful. Bees are busy at the moment. ;) Japanese maple are another favorite of mine. I especially like how their bold leaf color returns to light up Fall display. Thank you for return 'visits' to your gardens Pauline and Irvin! If I could make one suggestion... the color saturation of your photos is a distraction from the natural beauty. When editing, if grey looks purple/blue it's too strong. Best left alone or slightly saturated in some cases.
    Blooming happiness for the 2012 season ;)

  4. pattyspencer 04/02/2012

    I would love to have all those trees in my back yard - they are all so pretty!

  5. tractor1 04/02/2012

    Pattyspencer, just plant some. Understory trees are typically not very expensive and not so large that you can't plant them yourself. I'd like to plant more but the deer would have feast, so I have just one that after five years is still fenced, a redbud forest pansey. In fact I just checked it two days ago and it's tiny buds are going to open soon, it flowers before it begins to leaf out. I only planted it because I dug up a 500 pound boulder near my barn and didn't want to waste the hole. The boulder was mostly buried but stuck up enough for my mower to hit it so it had to go, I got tired of spray painting it with day glo. I didn't know it was going to be so big when I began digging, I needed the front loader on the tractor to move it, and still it was quite a job to scoop it from its hole. So where is everyone today?

  6. gottagarden 04/03/2012

    Gorgeous trees! I only have a couple Jap. maples because I don't have much shade, mostly full sun. I love the intense color they have, especially Katsura. Your loropetalum also seems to have day-glow colors. Lovely!

  7. pattyspencer 04/03/2012

    Tractor1 - I would love to plant more trees - however my son doesn't as he's the one who mows around everything and would just prefer I dig all that I do have - out! I have a north side of my yard that's a disaster and I have about 5 Arborvitae type that have sprouted and are about 5 foot tall that I'd like to dig out and put in my back yard that my son just wants to throw out (sigh)

  8. tractor1 04/03/2012

    Pattyspenser, I can't comment on your situation with your son but if instead of grass you lay down a blanket of mulch around your trees there'll be nothing to mow, and understory trees especially prefer to grow in mulch same as they would on a forest floor. And you'd be better off not having lawn on the north side of a structure, it would mostly be in shade which is not wonderful for grass but is perfect for understory trees. Of course there are always bonsai. Good luck.

  9. pattyspencer 04/03/2012

    Thanks Tractor1! That side of the yard (north) is also where that dreded Elephant Ear is and from what I've read it has to be dug up 6-8" and if any is left (i.e. rototilled) it will continue it's growth from what is left. I do want to take out those bushes/trees and most of everything that's currently there - cover over the remaining with about 6" of newspaper and mulch on top. That's "my" goal anyway.

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